Mumbai : Mike Hesson, the director of cricket at Royal Challengers Bangalore, on Thursday praised leg-spin all-rounder Wanindu Hasaranga’s performance in IPL 2022, saying that he has been consistently getting the scalps of big players in the tournament.
In the list of leading wicket-takers in IPL 2022, Hasaranga is at second spot with 21 wickets in 12 matches at an economy rate of 7.85. Even though Bangalore lost out on their long-serving wrist-spinner Yuzvendra Chahal, Hasaranga has ensured with his performances that the franchise doesn’t feel the void left by Chahal.
“From the start, Hasaranga was always getting big players out, he was getting wickets in the middle that got us back in the game, even though he might have got one for 28 which does not cause highlights. He was actually doing a nice job for us. It was very hard to replace one of our all-time greats and someone like Yuzi, he is an icon at RCB. Hasaranga comes in as his replacement, as the tournament’s gone they work out he is a good cricketer as is Yuzi,” said Hesson in a Bold Diaries video by the franchise.
In Bangalore’s 67-run win over Sunrisers Hyderabad, Hasaranga ran through the batting order to pick 5/18, his maiden five-fer in the history of IPL and be one of the main architects in a net run rate-boosting victory. With Bangalore set to face Punjab Kings at the Brabourne Stadium on Friday, one can expect for Hasaranga to pick crucial scalps and solidify his team’s chances of reaching the playoffs.
“I am really happy that I am the second highest wicket taker in this tournament. RCB is one of the best franchises, the players are friendly. We work as one family all the time, the Head coach, Sanjay Bangar and Mike Hesson and the entire staff support my bowling and me.”
“They are all very experienced and it is very good for us. I played last year’s second half with Yuzi so we both are very good friends; I always appreciate his bowling and he also does the same thing. I like to get challenges so that’s very easy to handle pressure situations for me.”
What has also helped Hasaranga in being at his best during IPL 2022 have been the technical adjustments and inputs made by spin bowling coach, former India left-arm spinner Sridharan Sriram.
“I am a big believer in making technical interventions as the tournament goes on and even as you progress, a lot of coaches have a feeling that we should not intervene technically. But I believe that we should keep looking at the footage, constantly keep revisiting what has worked for you and if he is going away from it make little tweaks.”
Sriram explained how Hasaranga’s run-up has been fixed to bamboozle the opposition batters and is still a work in progress. “What we have done with him is, that his run up has been very up and down. So we just fixed his run up to the speed at which he delivers is very much the same now.”
“He used to run fast and slow there was a mixed up pattern to it but the way, the speed at which he is running, the angles from which he runs, from where he delivers the ball, we are trying to still experiment and keep getting him better so I think there are little tweaks here and there. At the end of the day, they are delivering the results.”
Sriram admitted that filling in to the void left by Chahal was not an easy task for Hasaranga and appreciated the wrist-spinner’s bounce back ability to keep Bangalore strong in spin department. “Replacing Yuzvendra Chahal for RCB was not an easy task; Hasaranga comes in with incredible expectations.”
“Everyone knows what Yuzi has done for RCB and to come and fill into his boots and be second on the list of highest wicket taker now, full credit to him because the way he has handled the pressure on the expectation of the Indian public and the RCB fans. Some of the criticisms he had to face and how he has bounced back every time, is incredible proof of his sort of temperament.